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A Statistical Analysis of Corporate Technological Leadership Historically

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  • John Cantwell
  • Birgitte Andersen

Abstract

This paper examines statistically the dispersion of corporate technological leadership in sectors of rapid development historically. The evidence provided is based on the US patenting of 284 of the largest American and European industrial firms since 1890. It is shown that the diffusion of innovation to followers that are 'catching up' in a sector of activity is associated with an especially rapid rate of overall development in that field; that is, the rate of catching up is positively related to the rate of advance. However, during such phases of fast growth leaders tend to preserve at least some elements of their leading position. It is only over longer historical periods that the actual composition of leadership in a sector tends to shift more significantly.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 4 (1996)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 211-234

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:4:y:1996:i:3:p:211-234

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Related research

Keywords: Technological leadership; diffusion; patents; history of technology; Schumpeter J.E.L. Classification: 030; 033; L11; C21;

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Cited by:
  1. Cantwell, John & Santangelo, Grazia D., 1999. "The frontier of international technology networks: sourcing abroad the most highly tacit capabilities," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 101-123, March.
  2. Andre Jungmittag, 2004. "Innovations, technological specialisation and economic growth in the EU," European Economy - Economic Papers 199, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  3. Lall, Sanjaya, 2003. "Indicators of the relative importance of IPRs in developing countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1657-1680, October.
  4. Andersson, Martin & Lööf, Hans, 2008. "Learning-by-Exporting Revisited - the role of intensity and persistence," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 149, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  5. Vertova, Giovanna, 2002. "A historical investigation of the geography of innovative activities," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 259-283, September.
  6. Keld Laursen, 1996. "The Impact of Technological Opportunity on the Dynamics of Trade Performance," DRUID Working Papers 96-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  7. Lee, Chang-Yang, 2010. "A theory of firm growth: Learning capability, knowledge threshold, and patterns of growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 278-289, March.
  8. Breschi, Stefano & Lissoni, Francesco & Malerba, Franco, 2003. "Knowledge-relatedness in firm technological diversification," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-87, January.

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